X rays are used to diagnose fractures, and they’re also helpful for viewing a child’s lungs and other soft tissue. You may be hesitant about subjecting your child to the radiation produced during the procedure. Used infrequently, X rays are extremely safe, and the benefits gained from the information they provide far outweigh the possible risk of radiation. If your doctor recommends an X ray, do not hesitate. Of course, repetitive X rays are to be avoided, because the cumulative effect of many irradiations can be harmful, but even CT scans, which consist of a series of X rays, are considered perfectly safe. MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging scans, do not expose a child to any radiation; they use magnetic fields, which are harmless. Both CT and MRI scans may require sedation, since the procedures require the child to stay still for twenty minutes or so [See: Anesthesia].